The following list contains several resources and organizations that OEO finds helpful in its work in supporting families and schools statewide. Please note that this list is not intended to be exhaustive. At the bottom of this list, you will find information about other ombuds services in our state:
Federal and State Resources
Washington State Department of Children, Youth & Families (DCYF) (for early learning questions)
Washington State Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI):
- OSPI Family Resources / Common Core / Smarter Balanced Assessments
- OSPI Student Safety Center
- OSPI Special Education Parent Liaison
- OSPI Equity and Civil Rights
Washington State Board of Education
Washington State Department of Social and Health Services
- Child-Focused Resources (including abuse/neglect, healthcare, child care, adoption)
- Developmental Disabilities Administration
- Youth Services (including mentoring, kinship care, incarcerated youth, runaway supports, homelessness, foster care)
- Washington Connection (offers a fast and easy way for families and individuals to apply for a variety of services such as Food, Cash, Child Care, Long-Term Care, and Medicare Savings Programs. Individuals that are age 65 or older, blind or disabled may also apply for medical assistance.)
ILRU Directory of Centers for Independent Living (CILs) and Associations
Washington's Race and Ethnicity Commissions
- Commission on African American Affairs
- Commission on Asian Pacific American Affairs
- Commission on Hispanic Affairs
- Governor's Office of Indian Affairs
- The Arc of WA and local chapters throughout the state (See their Parent-to-Parent, P2P program)
- Child Care Aware
- Child Care Resources (CCR)
- Help Me Grow
- League of Education Voters
- Neighborhood House (including family engagement materials)
- Northwest Autism Center
- Open Doors for Multicultural Families
- Safe Schools Coalition
- Special Education Advocates League
- Washington Autism Alliance & Advocacy(WAAA)
- Washington State Parents and Teachers Association (PTA)
Dispute Resolution Services and Legal Help
- Resolution Washington Dispute resolution services in regional locations statewide Toll Free 888-803-4696
- American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) (See ACLU Parents' Guide to School Board Advocacy / Guía Familiar de Representación con las Mesas Directivas Escolares en Washington en Español/Spanish) Civil liberties and constitutional rights information. 206-624-2184
- Coordinated Legal Education, Advice and Referral system (CLEAR) Intake and referral services for low-income, non-criminal legal assistance. Toll Free 888-201-1014 (statewide, outside of King County) or 206-464-1519 (King County only)
- Legal Voice Information and referral services for low-income and middle-income women and LGBTQ people in Washington who do not have access to paid or pro bono attorneys. 206-682-9552
- Sound Options Mediation and Training Group Special education-related mediation services for parents and local school districts. Toll Free 800-692-2540
- Washington Protection and Advocacy System - Disability Rights Washington (legal aid for people with disabilities)
- Washington Law Help
Kinship Care Services
Mental Health Support (Including Suicide Intervention)
- Crisis Connections Emotional crisis and trauma services in King County. Toll Free 866-427-4747 or 206-461-3210
- DSHS, Mental Health Division, Regional Support Networks Information and referral to public mental health services and to crisis lines. Toll Free 866-789-1511
- Youth Suicide Prevention Program
Other Ombuds Offices
OEO is one among other ombuds services in the state, ranging from internal ombuds within school districts to ombuds tackling other topics and issues. Ombuds offices can have different functions and powers, so check in with an ombuds office to understand more about their model.
School District Ombuds Offices
- Highline Public Schools District Ombudsman. 206.631.3104. The District Ombuds works with families and schools to help resolve concerns, explain policies and procedures, and promote partnership for student success.
Vancouver Public Schools Office Of The Education Ombuds 360.313.1340 The education ombuds works with students, families, schools, and the community through the discipline process to resolve conflicts, build supportive partnerships, and foster collaboration so that every student can engage in a valuable educational experience within Vancouver Public Schools. The ombuds will provide confidential and unbiased guidance, resources, information, and support to build greater family-school partnerships. This work will aid in supporting the districts initiative of creating a school system with equity by removing barriers that impede students from accessing the tools and resources they need to successfully engage in their learning environments.
Washington State Ombuds Offices
- Office of the Family and Children's Ombuds (OFCO) 1.800.571.7321. The Family and Children's Ombuds investigates complaints in Washington state about agency actions or inaction that involve: any child at risk of abuse, neglect, or other harm; a child or parent involved with child protection or child welfare services.
- Washington State Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program 1-800-562-6028; TTY Users: 1-800-737-7931. The Washington State Long-Term Care Ombudsman advocates for residents of nursing homes, adult family homes, and assisted living facilities. Their purpose is to protect and promote the Resident Rights guaranteed these residents under Federal and State law and regulations. We are trained to receive complaints and resolve problems in situations involving quality of care, use of restraints, transfer and discharge, abuse and other aspects of resident dignity and rights.
- Open Government Ombuds Function – Washington State Attorney General. 360-586-7842. The Attorney General has appointed an Assistant Attorney General for Open Government who can assist citizens and agencies with Public Records Act and Open Public Meetings Act compliance.
- Office of Developmental Disabilities Ombuds – . The Office of Developmental Disabilities Ombuds delivers resident-directed, complaint-based, person-centered ombuds services. A Regional Ombuds resolves complaints on the delivery of developmental disabilities services, monitors and reports on and makes recommendations about services to persons with developmental disabilities. The Ombuds addresses rights violations and issues of abuse and/or neglect.
- Office of the Ombudsman for Injured Workers of Self-Insured Businesses. 1.888.317.0493. The Office of the Ombuds advocates for the rights of injured workers of self-insured employers by providing information, investigating complaints and taking action to ensure the worker receives the appropriate benefits under Washington state industrial insurance law. The Office of the Ombuds provides information about workers' compensation, including education, training, publications and web resources.
Behavioral Health Organization Ombuds Services (Mental Health and Substance Abuse)
College and University Ombuds Offices
- University of Washington Office of the Ombud. 206.543.6028
- Bellevue College Ombuds Office. 425.562.2131.
- Washington State University Ombudsman. 509.335.1195; email@example.com
- U.S. Department of Education Federal Student Aid Ombudsman Group. The Federal Student Aid Ombudsman Group of the U.S. Department of Education is dedicated to helping resolve disputes related to Direct Loans, Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) Program loans, Guaranteed Student Loans, and Perkins Loans. The Ombudsman Group is a neutral, informal, and confidential resource to help resolve disputes about your federal student loans.
Note: This is not a complete list of college and university ombuds offices. A longer list is posted on a Higher Ed Ombuds Blog, http://ombuds-blog.blogspot.com/p/higher-ed.html. Colleges and universities may have offices that serve similar functions but operate under different names.
County and City Ombuds Offices
- King County Office of the Ombudsman. 206.477.1050; firstname.lastname@example.org. The Ombudsman's Office manages citizen complaints concerning King County government agencies and investigates allegations regarding violations of the Employee Code of Ethics, and reports of improper governmental action and retaliation filed under the Whistleblower Protection Act.
- Spokane City Police Ombudsman. 509.625.6742; SPDombudsman@spokanecity.org